Albanian born Iris Elezi studied film theory and criticism, anthropology and women’s studies before completing her film production studies at New York University in 2001. Her editing and directing skills on the award-winning six-part documentary series Under Construction (2007) resulted in the Amnesty International’s Films That Matter selection for the episode Disposable Heroes./ Her feature debut, Bota (2014), premiered at the prestigous Karlovy Vary film festival and won the Fedeora critics award. Bota also triumphed in the Reykjavik Intl. Film Festival, winning both the Fipresci and the Audience Award. Iris Elezi lives and works in the Albanian capital of Tirana where she teaches film history and analysis./ Together with archivist Regina Longo and partner, Thomas Logoreci, they co-founded The Albanian Cinema Project, an initiative that aims at restoring and raising awareness about the endangered Albanian National Film Archive./ She also conducted a 90 minute masterclass with Francis Ford Coppola during Durres International Summerfest 2011 and weekly masterclasses during Dokufest 2011 with Mohsen Makhmalbaf and James Longley among others.
Film Bota — New York Premiere
We are excited to present the award winning film, BOTA (the world), at our partners Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), premiering at the Panorama Europe Film Festival 2015 in New York, Saturday, May 31, with director Iris Elezi in person.
Directors: Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci Cast: Flonja Kodheli, Artur Gorishti, Fioralba Kryemadhi, Tinka Kurti, Alban Ukaj, Luca Lionello “Bota” is the Albanian word for “world,” but also the pointedly symbolic name for the cafe at the heart of the film, a ramshackle roadside diner at the far end of a dusty road through a lonely stretch of swampland. With a wrecked car perched on its roof and a mysterious vagrant sleeping beneath its raised floor, this No Man’s Land setting has an almost dreamlike aura, like something from a classic Fellini film or Samuel Beckett play. The backdrop might be contemporary Albania, but time and location are both a little otherworldly.
The prime protagonist is Juli (Flonja Kodheli), a pensive young woman who divides her time between looking after her elderly great-aunt Noje (Tinka Kurti) in her crumbling apartment block and working at the cafe, which is owned by her cousin Benni (Artur Gorishti). The married, middle-aged Benni is also dangerously in debt and entangled in an adulterous affair with his 25-year-old mistress Nora (Fioralba Kryemadhi). Meanwhile, an Italian-Albanian construction crew is building a highway nearby, dangling the vague promise of financial windfalls and romantic adventure to these three stranded souls.
A co-production between Albania, Italy and Kosovo, Bota impresses with its unschooled young stars, its evocative retro soundtrack and its attractive panoramic views of a dusty corner of Europe that is rarely seen onscreen.
Date & Time:
Saturday, May 31, 2015
The Museum of the Moving, 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106.
Panorama Europe Film Festival
This event is presented in collaboration EUNIC partners and it is part of Panorama Europe Film Festival 2015.
- Albanian Institute New York
- Austrian Cultural Forum New York
- Czech Center in New York
- Delegation of the European Union to the UN
- Cultural Services of the French Embassy
- Goethe-Institut New York
- Hungarian Cultural Center
- Italian Cultural Institute
- Onassis Foundation (USA) and Consulate General of Greece
- Polish Cultural Institute New York
- Arte Institute
- Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian Audiovisual Centre
- Consulate General of Estonia
- Consulate General of Spain
- Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
- Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenian Film Centre
- General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the U.S.
- Instituto Cervantes
- EU Delegation to the United States – Washington, D.C., U.S.A
- EU National Institutes for Culture – Brussels, Belgium
- Hollywood Reporter – Global
European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) presents cutting-edge and thought-provoking artistic and intellectual European achievements to New York and U.S. audiences. EUNIC New York partners with eminent American and European institutions to provide programs in the arts, languages, education, and academia. The organization is part of a global coalition of national cultural institutes and cultural diplomatic services from the European Union that work in more than 80 cities on all continents.